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After earlier clearing, activists at George Floyd Square erect temporary barricades

Activists have been angered by the surprise efforts to reopen the intersection.
A picture of George Floyd Square taken in April.

A picture of George Floyd Square taken in April.

Hours after a Minneapolis public works team cleared the barricades from George Floyd Square, activists have been putting up new temporary barriers to block traffic at the intersection.

The early-morning operation to reopen the square and create a roundabout around the fist sculpture in the middle of 38th and Chicago has been condemned by those who for the past 12 months have used the space as a place to honor Floyd and demand change.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has claimed the clearing of the intersection was a "community-led initiative" involving the Agape Movement, which has been providing security at the intersection.

But this claim of a "community-led" operation has been met with skepticism given the involvement of public works teams and the situating of Minneapolis police at nearby Powderhorn Park. 

Activists have also shared a copy of an email sent by a public works employee sent Wednesday to employees, discussing plans to open the square Thursday morning.

Later Thursday morning, those at the square started placing temporary barriers once again at the intersection, blocking vehicle traffic.

Those at the scene have been calling for more materials and support as they seek to re-establish the space.

While the square has been used as a community space since Floyd's death, there have been growing complaints in recent weeks by residents regarding shootings and other crime issues, as well as the presence of local gangs.

A number of neighbors spoke to the Minnesota Reformer recently, telling them they want activists to leave the intersection.

City leaders will be giving a press conference at 1:15 p.m. to provide a more expansive explanation behind the decision to choose today to clear the square. 

The city has previously released plans to reopen the intersection to traffic while maintaining some of the memorials to George Floyd.

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